Friday, 25 September 2009 00:00
The Adelphi University softball team spent Saturday, Sept. 12, volunteering at the Special Olympics New York Fall Games in Hicksville. Despite the fact that softball, one of the fall games sports, was canceled due to inclement weather, the team was on hand to assist with soccer and golf events.
In addition to helping out at the soccer field, the players also assisted at the arts and crafts tables. They also served as line judges, bench coaches, cheerleaders and new friends to the athletes and their coaches.
“From the first oath to the medal ceremonies, it was great to see athletics stripped down to the true meaning of sport,” Head Softball Coach Paige Smith. “For these athletes, the experience of competing is a triumph in itself and I feel that sometimes we lose sight of that when we are playing at the highest levels. I was left speechless by the experience so I’ll steal the words of one of the workers, ‘We will all be smiling for days after this experience.’”
The Panthers, currently in their fall season, decided that this year’s team-bonding exercise should include giving back. “The Athlete’s Oath for the Special Olympics is ‘Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.” I think that’s a great message for us to embody this year,” Coach Smith added.
To provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-style sports for all children and adults with intellectual disabilities, including mental retardation, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of skills and friendship with their families, Special Olympics athletes and the community. Through their participation in Special Olympics New York athletes gain confidence and build a positive self-image, which carries into the classroom, the home, the workplace and the community.
Today, Special Olympics New York is the largest program of its type in the United States, serving nearly 47,654 athletes with the support of over 25,000 volunteers. Special Olympics New York is headquartered in Schenectady with regional offices in Long Island, New York City, Hudson Valley, Central and Genesee.